Oh, Brown, How You Vex Me…

I have been absent a seriously long time. But you that, didn't you?

I had a nice little sickness that started off my blog hiatus. Really it was a bit of asthma irritation. But I was also busy during the past month with many projects, some of which I will fill you in on during the next couple of weeks. Some will have to stay a little secret~ like maybe a certain publication in a certain online knitting mag…

One of my projects has vexed me a bit.

I was commissioned by a good friend to make hats for her eight children. They each chose the style of hat and their color preferences. Some chose hats that would be best made with cotton, some chose a handdyed wool yarn. Three of the four handdyed yarns came out of the dye pot pretty much as I expected. One of the yarns has vexed me.

My friend's oldest daughter requested dark brown with green, mint or forest~  not olive or lime. 

I've never tried to dye brown wool. So began the experimenting. (Don't worry. I'll give recipes for all these yarns soon.)

Attempt #1:


Brown is definitely not dark brown. The green is not the forest or mint I was going for.


I decided to try again.

Attempt #2:

The brown is not a dark brown, but it's a very pretty brown with red undertones. The mint green is lovely as well, but there is much more undyed color than I had hoped.



I decided to try one more time~ just like this one, only more dye to fill all the wool.

Attempt #3:

When I prepared to make the dye, I discovered that I had run out of the yellow that I had used the last time. So I used a different form of yellow dye~ food coloring drops instead of Lemonade Kool-Aid. Plus, I was increasing the amount of dye used last time.

This yarn came out beautifully! I love the warm red. It reminds me of henna. But the green did not come out as minty as the last attempt. There are spots that are mint, but also bit of a yellow green and bits that are kind of lime. She doesn't want lime. Hmm.


I knitted a bit of her hat to see how it would look. Pretty, but will she like it with the spots of lime?

I decided to try again.

Attempt #4:

This time I tried to darken the brown. I also decided to shoot for a darker green instead of mint.


I was really surprised how this one came out! It's sooo much lighter than I expected. It's almost like the green infused into the brown as well. There is definitely light brown and a darker tan, but it sort of has a green undertone. The green is very much like a light, musty sage. Pretty, but cool colors rather than the warm colors of the last attempt.


Here's the knitted swatch. It's a nice blend, but I don't know if it's quite right, either.
What do you think? Will she like one of these yarns? Or should I dye another one?
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2 thoughts on “Oh, Brown, How You Vex Me…

  1. She likes the 4th one! She also liked the first one, but her pick was the 4th. =) She also feels pretty special, since you gave her 4 choices of yarns and her sibling didn't get any choices. ; ) Thanks, Connie!!

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